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Copyright © Kitley's Krypt
2013 RONDO AWARD
Flashback Weekend started back in 2002, and has become the premiere Chicagoland horror convention. Not too many other shows have been around in this area for this long, so kudos to the Flashback team for continuing to work hard at keeping their show around. Due to a hotel suddenly closing last year, they (and the fans) missed out on doing a show. But they were back this year, with a strong guest list. So we were excited to join them for another great weekend. There were concerns/worries that since the Wizard World event was going on right across the street the same weekend, that it might draw some of the crowd away. But I think if anything, it brought people over. There were several people that I knew or heard that were double dipping. So it didnít look like it was any negative effect.
My son Nick was there to help me with the show, as well as my wife, Dawn, who was making this one her first full-fledge convention. After years of staying home with Nick, and then having to work multiple jobs due to the shitty economy, it was always difficult for her to make it out. Little did I know all these years that she was craving being to be part of that part of my life. So it was nice to witness a convention through her virgin eyes, seeing her get excited when she first noticed that Lance Henriksen was just a few yards away from our table. It is the little things like that, that you tend to take for granted when you go to so many over the years.
It was strange to see that two of the main headliners, Robert Englund and Henriksen were at the headliners at the last Flashback show. But what amazes me at each show that I attend is how many people are drawn to the same guests that I have seen multiple times. Granted, I attend about 5-6 events a year, so I do end up seeing quite a lot of the few celebrities who become convention regulars. As many times that Iíve seen Kane Hodder at a show, I just canít believe how many people are in line to meet this guy! But then it hits me. Every year, a new horror fan is born. I donít mean the literal way, but one that has decided or realized their passion for this genre. And the newer ones will gravitate towards the more common and famous horror films, such as the FRIDAY THE 13th series. And what better person to be able to meet at one of your first conventions than Hodder, who played Jason a few times in his career, not to mention tons of other genre work. So when I would look over and see a bigger line of people wanting to see him instead of the legendary Lance Henriksen, it would depress me at first. But I know that in due time, these fans would learn to discover the iconic actor that Henriksen is and would be in HIS line the next time around. Same goes for Robert Englund. Each time he is at a show, the lines are HUGE. And it is for that same reason.
One of the biggest highlights of the show, for me personally was due to one of the fans of this site, Dave Kostman. From coming to my site over the years, it was pretty obvious that I am sort of a big fan of Paul Naschy. Dave had acquired something from an online auction that he knew that I would love to see in person. He had purchased the corpse torso that was used in the Fred Olen Ray film TOMB OF THE WEREWOLF, one of the films that Naschy made while he was here in the states, back in the early 2000ís. Yes, even Naschy fans grimace when this movie is mentioned. But as Dave mentioned to me, this was the only way he could see owning a prop from an actual Naschy film, and I admit, I donít blame him. But the fact that he brought it to the show, specifically to show another fellow die-hard Naschy fan just blew me away. But this is something that all horror fans, especially if youíre a collector, knows that while it is cool to get something for your collection, it means even more to be able to show it to another collector, one that will appreciate it for what it is. And Dave sure found the right guy for this item. So many thanks go out to Dave for truly making my day on Saturday.
Another highlight from the show was meeting a guy that was making his first convention appearance as a dealer. AJ and his wife Amy, from Meatspider Studios had a table full of hand-made sculptures that were just incredible. We see new dealers at every show, but it is rare that we are this blown away by one. Most of AJís pieces were Lovecraft inspired, but he also had plenty of other devilish delights to make any horror fan drool. Plus, the craftsmanship of these is just amazing. Tons of details, incredible paint job, and such a wonderful and dark imagination had gone into creating these. I immediately spotted dagger type item that basically had the head of Cthulhu at the top, with tentacles winding down the piece. I knew that it would look even better sitting in my display case at home, but really needed to sell some stuff at my own table before making any purchases. Another piece that we really liked was a little glass jar with some pink/purple glob in there. Any fan of Chuck Russellís remake of THE BLOB would recognize it from the very end of the movie, with the preacher holding it in his hand at the end. Of course, even though AJ had several pieces that we were coveting, it didnít stop us from sending people over to his table to check out his work. Which is exactly what we are doing here now. You can check out his work HERE, where it shows not only what heís done in the past, but also what he has available currently. As you can see from the pics below, he has a wide range of interesting items and they all look great. Check him and his work out. You will be impressed, just as I was.
Being a collector of movie memorabilia, you have to be a little picky when it comes to certain items. Unless of course, you just have money falling out of your pocket. It is not too often that I see something that I just have to have. Usually, I might see something I like, but really donít need to or want to spend the money. But occasionally, I will see something that just eats away at my brain until I give in and buy it. There was another dealer set up down the aisle from us that was mainly a bunch of different items, but quite a few posters. They put on out in front on display caught my eye immediately. It was for the movie FLESH FEAST. Now, even though it was Veronica Lakeís last movie, if anybody had seen it, you know that it is just a terrible movie. But that didnít stop us from drooling over the poster art. As you can see from this photo, it is something to behold. We just love this style of poster art and is something that is definitely a lost art form.
And speaking of the dealer room, there seemed to be a few less dealers than in the past. Plus a lot of newer ones as well. Which is a good thing, since you always want to see new stuff at these shows. Of course, the regulars were there, like Ken and Pam from Cinema Wasteland and Jill from LixOline, Don and Nina from Slaughtered Lamb Studios, Joe Wallace from Turntabling.net, and Steve Bejma from Classic Horrors. These guys are one of the main reasons that we love coming to conventions. Plus, seeing tons of other regulars, both local and from afar that travel out to these shows to hang out with other like minded fiends. Several times during the show we had some great conversations with different folks that were walking around at the show. Sometimes you can tell which fans donít have too many people they can discuss their favorite genre with. And I also wanted to give a special shout out to my buddy Alan, who drove all the way from St. Louis, by himself, to join in the festivities. We met Alan a couple of years ago at a Flashback show and started sharing our love of Larry Buchanan films. Nothing wrong with that....nope...not one bit.
As for the guest line up, Flashback had gone back to filling out the weekend with plenty of Q&A sessions, which were great. One guest that we had seen years before while he was promoting SLITHER, of course Michael Rooker, has to be one of the funniest and entertaining guests to witness. He just looks like he is having the time of his life. He was cracking jokes some of the times, but then would get a bit serious at certain times while answering some of the questions. He is one of those guests that you could see at multiple conventions, but are always going to be entertained by him. He was there, in part with two other stars from the WALKING DEAD series, Steven Yuen and Andrew Rothenberg. During the beginning of the WALKING DEAD Q&A that I stayed for, Rothenberg seemed to answer questions with either a Yes or No. So not sure if he expanded any more after I left, but I felt that was a bit odd. The question did come up about Frank Darabont getting fired and what their feelings were. Of course, Yeun was the only one that really commented on it, giving us what seemed like a well written note from the studio heads. Yea, I get itÖthey want to keep their jobs. And it sucks that they canít be honest with their thoughts, but it is just too bad. Hopefully the series doesnít suffer without Darabont. Personally, I canít see how it couldnít.
As we mentioned before, Lance Henriksen was there, promoting his new auto-biography, Not Bad For A Human. While we had thought about getting it from Amazon, this was a hardcover version, which I am always a sucker for. Plus, Dawn was pretty star struck with him and really wanted to get her picture taken with him. He is so down to earth and a great guy. Not to mention the fact that he is one hell of an actor. One of the true greats of the horror genre, as well as any others that he plays in.
Malcolm McDowell was another guest here that I had seen before, but didnít pay much attention to. Sure, he made some great films, but none of which that I would consider a favorite. Plus, since he charges so much for an autograph, I donít even bother going by his table. But I did go into his Q&A to get some photos of him and was pleasantly surprised at how funny and entertaining his talk was. He spoke of Kubrick and making CLOCKWORK ORANGE a bit, and seemed to be impressed and surprised at some of the audience and their knowledge of film. Apparently horror films arenít the only things we watch. Well, not meÖbut most of them anyway.
Catherine Mary Stewart and Kelli Maroney, from NIGHT OF THE COMET, were right behind us. Stewart looks amazing, and it was nice to see that both of these women have a following from that movie. Granted, Stewart has been in a few other things, such as THE LAST STARFIGHTER, and Maroney was in CHOPPING MALL and FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH, so they are no strangers to the cult genre. Scream Queen Lineal Quigley was also there, promoting a new documentary that she is in called SCREAMING IN HIGH HEELS: THE RISE & FALL OF THE SCREAM QUEEN ERA, directed by independent filmmaker Jason Paul Collum. While we personally not huge fans of the whole scream queen era, the documentary did look pretty interesting. And of course, we are suckers for any type of documentaries on the horror genre. So we are interested in seeing it.
At the HorrorHound show last November, we got to meet Jill Schoelen, star of THE STEPFATHER and THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA with Robert Englund. But this time, we got to hear some of her Q&A and not only does she still look great, but she had some great stories about her career in the genre, even though it was pretty much by accident. None the less, her filmography speaks for itself. HELLRAISER star Ashley Laurence was also joining the cast of lovely ladies off horror. If you have the chance, check out her artwork if you get to see her at a show. She is just as talented as she is beautiful. She just gets better looking each and every year. But on the other hand, not sure what the deal was with Scout Taylor-Compton, but was it just me or did it seem like she had more make up than she did clothes? Iím sure her fans loved that, but to me it looked pretty embarrassing.
So after their ninth show, Flashback has proved to be a staple in the Chicago Horror market. We look forward to next year, and another fun show.
WALKING DEAD CAST